Media Watch


The Arizona Daily Star apparently loves the title of senior editor. Of the six tweaks to roles and responsibilities announced in the Sunday, Jan. 20, Moving Up section, three included a senior editor in some capacity.

New members of the senior editor club are Hipolito R. Corella, senior editor for breaking news and daily enterprise; Debbie Kornmiller, senior editor for custom content and delivery; and Jill Jorden Spitz, senior editor for watchdog journalism, projects and Sundays.

Word inside the Star compound at Park and Irvington is that the newspaper plans to add two reporters for a so-called watchdog team.

In other changes at the Star, Maria Parham has been named editorial page editor, John Bolton has been named night editor and Tim Steller has transitioned to metro columnist.


Mary Junck, the CEO of struggling Lee Enterprises, the Davenport, Iowa-based company that owns and operates the Arizona Daily Star, was rewarded handsomely for her role in negotiating the organization through a structured bankruptcy.

In addition to her annual salary of $900,000, Junck also received $655,000 in stock rewards and more than $38,000 in other compensation, a good portion of which came from retirement matching funds.

And there's more. Junck received a special bonus of half a million dollars as a result of the company's bankruptcy settlement, approved in January 2012.

Lee is nowhere near out of the woods as newspapers continue trying to figure out how to make a profit with an archaic model that got clobbered by technological advancements and a dramatic economic downturn. The company lost $20 million in fiscal 2012, but that's significantly better than the nearly $150 million loss it incurred in 2011.

Although the company's operating revenue decreased by 2 percent from 2011 figures, other high-ranking managers also received dramatic pay bumps. Carl Schmidt, the chief financial officer and treasurer, was paid almost $906,000, an increase of 48 percent from the year before. Kevin Mowbray, a Lee vice president of publishing, made more than $590,000, a 33 percent bump. Greg Veon, another Lee vice president, made $450,000, up 13 percent. Michael Gulledge, vice president of sales and marketing, took in nearly $527,000, up 76 percent from fiscal 2011.

As of Monday, Lee stock was selling in the $1.30 range.

KVOI adds Herman Cain

KVOI 1030 AM has added former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to its syndicated talk-show lineup. Cain replaced Neal Boortz, who retired from the profession earlier this month. However, the station that aired Boortz, KQTH 104.1 FM, opted not to keep Cain, so KVOI took advantage of the opportunity.

Cain's program airs from 9 to 11 p.m. locally. It's the second addition at KVOI in the past couple of months. The Savage Nation, hosted by Michael Savage, is aired from 7 to 9 p.m.

KVOI's daytime lineup remains largely unchanged. Chris DeSimone and Joe Higgins host Wake Up! Tucson weekday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m., followed by a couple of syndicated programs. The Dennis Miller Show is on from 8 to 10 a.m., followed by The Mike Huckabee Show from 10 a.m. to noon. The locally produced Buckmaster Show airs from noon to 1 p.m., followed by a return to syndication with The Michael Medved Show from 1 to 3 p.m. Then it's back to local content with John C. Scott from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by Hugh Hewitt's nationally syndicated broadcast from 5 to 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the KQTH lineup tweak features the return of Laura Ingraham's syndicated program, which airs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Rusty Humphries Show, broadcast from 1 to 3 p.m. Jerry Doyle, whose syndicated program used to air in this market in the afternoon, has been pushed to 6 p.m.

Jon Justice (weekdays 6 to 10 a.m.) and James T. Harris (weekdays 3 to 5 p.m.) make up the station's local presence.


Arizona Public Media is giving local news program Arizona Illustrated a compartmentalized feel for its new-look launch Monday, Feb. 4.

The half-hour news program, which is broadcast at 6:30 p.m. weeknights on local PBS affiliate KUAT Channel 6, is scrapping the single-host approach in favor of a theme-based model. Five hosts will occupy the anchor chair during the course of the week.

On Mondays, Maria Parham, the recently appointed editorial page editor at the Arizona Daily Star, will host AZ Illustrated Metro, with a focus on issues related to education, business and government in Southern Arizona. Andrea Kelly will handle producer duties.

Jane Poynter will occupy the anchor chair on Tuesdays for AZ Illustrated Science, which will focus on advances in science and health. Georgia Davis will produce the program.

Davis also will host Wednesday's nature block, which is touted as an awareness outlet for subjects such as solar energy, recycling, hydrology, water conservation and ecotourism. Tony Paniagua will produce.

Art is the featured theme Thursdays. Elizabeth Burden will host and longtime KUAZ 89.1 FM radio host Mark McLemore will be responsible for producer duties. Expect a heavy dose of music, spoken word and other in-studio performances from members of the region's arts community.

Tucson Weekly journalist Jim Nintzel will continue as host of Friday's politics-based programming, which is pretty much the lone visual and stylistic holdover from the days when Bill Buckmaster held the anchor reins at Arizona Illustrated. The program has struggled in terms of content and identity since Buckmaster's departure for KVOI 1030 AM, where he hosts an interview-based program that airs at noon on weekdays.

The launch will also feature a new studio look.

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